The Facets of God’s Will
There are various aspects of God’s will, and we cannot escape them.
God has a decretive will. He does what he pleases and what he chooses to do. That means he is Sovereign. Creation was decretive. It is the act of an all-powerful sovereign king of the universe. No one can stop him or change what he has done or will do by his decree.
God also has a preceptive will. God expresses his will in the form of commands, like the ten commandments. We can break the law and then face judgment. We can violate God’s preceptive will but not without consequences. God does not give permission to perish. But we don’t always obey. Some come to Christ, and some disobey and that leads to death and perishing. I believe I would perish apart from Christ. So I submitted my will to his recognizing I could not keep his commandments. His will was accomplished on the cross.
Finally, God has a will of disposition. This is the “emotion” of God. This is what pleases God, what brings him delight or that he delights in. God doesn’t delight in the death of sinners. When God says he is not wishing that any should perish, he is expressing his desire.
My Response to God’s Will
Like the Psalmist, I choose to delight in God’s will. Psalm 40:8 says, “I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.” God expresses his will in his word. I read a portion of the Bible every morning to be reminded of God’s will.
Next Sunday I have the privilege of preaching. As I consider the text, I am asking myself a crucial question: “What is God’s will?” The answer to that question is so very important. You cannot fight against it and win. You can delight in it when you see how good God’s will really is.
Don’t doubt this reality. God’s will is what has been done by him, what is now in motion by his will, and what will be in all of the future. His love never fails. I delight in his will.